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Anthony Kennedy on Principles & Values

Supreme Court Justice (nominated by Pres. Reagan 1988)


1987: No unitary theory of interpreting Constitution

In 2 days of hearings in mid-December, Kennedy "I do not have an overarching theory, a unitary theory of interpretation [of the Constitution]," the nominee said. "Many of the things we are addressing here are, for me, in the nature of exploration and not in the enunciation of some fixed or immutable ideas." And he cited as "central to the idea of the rule of law . . . that there is a zone of liberty, a zone of protection, a line that is drawn where the individual can tell the Government: Beyond this line you may not go." On 2/1/1988, Kennedy won unanimous support of the Judiciary Committee and 3 days later of the full Senate by a vote of 97-0.
Source: A Life of Trial & Redemption, by Jules Witcover, p.230 , Oct 5, 2010

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